August 10, 2018

Effort to reduce credit card fees for small, medium businesses supported by Small Business Matter Coalition

OTTAWA--Today, the Federal Government of Canada announced that it has helped secure new, separate and voluntary commitments from three payment card networks that will lead to lower costs for small-and-medium-sized businesses - action that is supported by the Small Business Matters (SBM) Coalition.

"We're pleased to see the Federal Government continuing to take action in reducing credit cards fees for small and medium-sized businesses," said Gary Sands, chair of the Small Business Matters Coalition and senior vice-president, Canadian Federation of Independent Grocers. "This is a step in the right direction, although more work is needed to continue to support and foster Canada's independent business landscape. We look forward to continuing to work with the Government to even further reduce the effects of credit card fees on the member companies of the SBM Coalition."

Specific to today's announcement, the SBM Coalition is pleased to see progress toward a voluntary reduction in interchange fees to an average of 1.40 per cent for a period of five years and the inclusion of American Express who will support the government's objectives of greater fairness and transparency through its separate voluntary commitment.

These commitments from Visa and Mastercard are expected to reduce average interchange rates for businesses by up to 15 per cent from their highest levels in 2014, helping small and medium-sized enterprises be more competitive. For smaller businesses with credit sales of $1 million per year, a reduction in interchange fees could allow for savings of up to $7,500 over five years.

The Small Business Matters Coalition was formed in 2014 to represent the interests of Canada's small businesses. The coalition is comprised of over 25 trade associations that represent in excess of 97,000 small business sites. Member associations have joined the coalition because they did not believe that governments across the country were paying close enough attention to the challenges faced by their small business members. By combining their efforts, these small businesses believe they can create a voice for their members that compares to the importance their members have to the Canadian economy and the communities they serve.



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